tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN September 21, 2017 8:00am-9:00am PDT
hello. i'm ana a cabrera in for kate bolduan. at this hour, hurricane maria is regaining some of its fury, strengthening to a category 3 overnight and continuing its disastrous march through the caribbean. the storm is lashing the dominican republic with strong winds and heavy rains as puerto rico assesses its widespread devastation. trees stripped, roofs peeled off homes. a result of the storm's howling winds that reached up to 175
miles an hour in some areas there. millions of americans are without electricity right now as the power grid for that entire island is knocked out. puerto rico's governor says it may take months to restore. and this morning we're also learning of dozens of families now being rescued from floodwaters as flash flood warnings now blanket every inch of the island. meantime at least 14 people are confirmed dead in the island nation of dominica. the government there saying those spared are now, quote, in survival mode as the food and water have run out and looting is widespread. cnn's michael holmes surveyed the devastation from the air. >> reporter: the damage is island wide. whether it's a town or village there is debris covering the landscape like confetti. houses ripped open, torn apart, roofs gone. we saw some cars moving, but no people. we did see evidence of numerous landslides on this mountainous island. the usually blue/green sea
rendered brown in places from the earth scent swepts into it. >> much more from dominica and across the region. cnn has deployed its vast resources to cover the story like no one else. our coverage in puerto rico, nick paton walsh joining us from san juan. what are you experiencing there right now? looks like it's at least called down. >> the first time, yeah, we've got weather that's not awful, frankly, but it does bring people back out on to the streets. the first time the sun rose and got to see how awful hurricane maria has been to their daily lives. here behind me, people just simply pausing to take stock of what's happened. but, you know, probably the thing that we sort of say under our breath quickly it's affecting people's lives most extraordinary is the electricity. that's probably going to carry on for four to six months. so there's, obviously, a swift
[ inaudible ] of generators, but the silence of the normal business of daily life forced on hold because of that. imagine without electricity, a job you would normally turn up to do, that is a challenge and mind you this is a place already in human economic dire straits before hurricane irma caused a billion dollars worth of damage. we're seeing debris around the streets and places like walgreens with the lights on, the but the door boarded up. people taking down the shutters, having a look at really how bad it was, but also, really lacking in information. remember, cell phones are out as well. people coming up to us asking us the details of the storm, how bad was it, is the airport open. and, you know, this is also because they can't even watch cnn if they haven't got electricity on right now. a different kind of life in 2017. even fresh water, in fact, being taken from an area just behind me here.
challenges people never would have thought experiencing the united states in 2017. >> signs of life behind you with cars rolling by, people out in the street trying to pick up the pieces, that is a small sliver of good news at the very least. nick paton walsh, any update as far as you know on deaths or injuries there? >> at this point, as far as we know, there is one person who lost their life, hit by flying debris. a man. minimal details but, obviously, that's deeply tragic for his family, but possibly the fact that we're talking about one instance in storms we saw terrifying, is one piece of comparatively good news. a lot of damage. we're fascinated by the drama of the storms and how ferocious they are, but this month-long process of rebuilding that's the really hard effort here. >> and hard to fully get our minds wrapped around how much damage there is. nick paton walsh, that four being our eyes and ears on the
ground there as the rains have continued to batter part the of the region officials are scrambling to assess how bad and widespread the damage is. this is the strongest storm to hit the island in nearly a century. just minutes ago, president trump weighed in on the massive recovery effort that will have to be launched in this u.s. territory. watch. >> puerto rico was absolutely obliterated. their electrical grid is totally destroyed. and so many other things. so we're starting the process now and we'll work with the governor and the people of puerto rico. >> joining us now is carlos murcoter the spokesman for puerto rico's governor. thank you so much for being with us. do you agree with what we just heard as far as the president's assessment that puerto rico is completely or absolutely obliterated? >> yeah. thank you, ana, for the opportunity. definitely. it's massive devastation. it was something forecasted.
the strongest hurricane we've had in more than 100 years. the hurricane was in terms of storms in the last century, in the region in general so it was -- we knew that this was going to happen. governor was prepared to basically have an immediate response to the storm and thankfully, we've had collaboration with all of the federal agencies. i want to say thank you to president donald trump, thank you to fema, thank you to brock long the administrator of fema, this morning had a call with the governor and just now the governor is sitting down with the cabinet. they're basically assessing what has happened in the past 24 hours and what's going to be ensuing in the next 24. >> as far as what has happened, you have reported the entire island lost power and 70% is without water. is that still the case? >> that's still the case, yes.
and another big part of that, that i think needs to be mentioned, is that communication lines are -- they're basically down. we have communication with some people, but in general, we're still getting in contact with people that are located in different parts of the island like the southeastern part, the northwestern part, the southwestern part it's been very hard the last 24 hours to determine what has happened from the voice of other people because we haven't had any communication, plus, there's a lot of destruction in the road. there's a lot of debris in between, a lot of obstruction. so today it's a day of assessment. obviously, the priority of the government, saving lives. we still have a lot of flooding, we still have a lot of
landslides that might occur because of the massive amount of rain that we got, and the governor, alongside fema, after the meeting they had with the cabinet they will go to the ground. they're going to assess all of this situation and hopefully again we're going to be -- it's going to be a long process of reconstruction but we're going to come up. >> i understand that the assessment still has to take place, but what is the plan? if it's going to be months before all of that electricity is restored, people are going to start to need a lot, right? >> yeah. well right now, right now, we are definitely in need of support from -- aside from the federal government which we're receiving right now, also from america, from our country. we need generators. we need water, we need supplies.
we've started like a campaign called united for puerto rico.com [ speaking foreign language ] and we have some phone numbers that we've established so people want to help puerto rico they can all the numbers are 202-888-3033 and 3034. >> okay. we'll make sure to try to pass that message along, obviously hard for some people to pick it up as we're talking on air but we will be posting that on our website and make sure that gets passed along as well. real quick before i let you go, can't help but ask about the financial situation there. we know that puerto rico before this hurricane has been in the midst of an economic crisis. >> yeah. >> what does this hurricane now do for the people and for your government financially? >> well, again, we are prepared for emergencies like hurricanes
and we have an emergency fund and we're going to be using that to sustain the initial economic impact of the recovery process. also, again, we're working alongside the federal government and we're also asking congress to take a look at what has just happened in puerto rico. we've heard that house leader paul ryan wants to go to puerto rico. the president wants to go to puerto rico. >> okay. >> so they can see the damage. because it's total devastation. >> well, our hearts and prayers are with all of you there. we hope that this all comes out okay in the end and as you point out, i know the damage assessment injuries, loss of life, still being determined but we'll continue to pray for everybody there. thank you again, carlos mer kadir. we appreciate your time. before hitting puerto rico hurricane maria began its tear through the atlantic slamming into the typely island nation of dominica. at least 14 people are dead
there after the storm tore into dominica with a full veracity. it was a cat 5 hurricane when it hit. michael holmes takes us on a journey to survey the jaw-dropping devastation. >> reporter: hurricane maria hit dominica at full category 5 strength and showed no mercy plowing through villages and the towns and the capital. not a tree untouched across the islands. thousands snapped in two. no greenery left. there was spectacular rain forests here, no more. this is as close as we or anyone can get to dominica for now. the airport is shut down. hoping to open it in the hours ahead to see how bad things are down there. we can see from up here, this island has been hit and hit hard. we pass. our pilot unable to land before on the ground safety checks had deemed the runway safety safe.
the damage is island wide. where there is a town or village there is debris covering the landscape like confetti. houses ripped open, torn apart, roofs gone. we saw some cars moving, but no people. we did see evidence of numerous landslides on this mountainous island. the usually blue/green sea rendered brown in places from the earth swept into it. dominica has an agriculture based economy, sugar cane, banana plantations, citrus, and most is exported. from what we can see up here, that is gone. and the loss of those resources and that income is going to be devastating for this island and its people. of course the immediate concern is the 73,000 residents here. making sure aid gets in and quickly. medical treatment, power, fresh water, and shelter, the immediate priorities. regional officials planning for aid flights and voyages to begin in force on thursday, from the
nearby island of st. lucia, and hoping for clarity on just what has happened to the island of dominica. michael holmes, cnn, over dominica in the caribbean. >> incredible pictures. just moments ago, the national hurricane center released its new update on hurricane maria. let's get to our weather center and cnn meteorologist chad myers. chad, fill us in. >> the storm is hammering the north shore here of the dominican republic. right through there. and there's a couple mountain ranges in here too. i'm afraid all of this moisture that's coming off the storm, is now getting in those mountains like it got into the puerto ricoen mountains and all of this rain will come rushing down in flash flooding. so we're going to watch that for you. really, i think the focus is still probably on st. croix, on puerto rico and the likes because what this storm already did. it's going to move into the turks and caicos, but there's the latest advisory. 115. that hasn't changed. the pressure hasn't changed much eat he. about 959 millibars.
not deepening rapidly like before it did when it got to dominica. that's in the atlantic ocean. nothing really to hit there. as long as it misses bermuda for now, all of the weather models are missing the united states as well. one thing i want to point out, though, where irma went, the yellow line, and where maria is right now, right over the top of that. now there is some disturbance, some wake here, where the water isn't quite as warm as irma did go over it, so that may hinder maria for a while but watch what happens, it crosses the path and turns off to the right. so we'll continue to watch that. i think the story, ana, people don't understand about how it's four to six months for power, is that you can't drive bucket trucks from georgia and florida and fix power lines in puerto rico. there are no interstates that go there. you cannot just put the equipment that they need on that island.
sure, you can ferry some in, but it will take a long time. not just power lines but distribution poles are gone. they have to rebuild that. a little bit like what they went through with the ice storm up in canada, montreal and new finland, years and years ago. they had to put up the entire hydro grid. >> still to think the entire island without power and the amount of work that has to be done and the limited resources available at the ready. we know you'll stay on top of it. good to see that that storm path appears to be going the right direction as far as people in the u.s. are concerned in the mainland getting hit. moments ago, a stunning reminder of the emergency that still covers the u.s. virgin islands. effective immediately all four islands will be under a 24-hour curfew. a measure so extreme rarely heard of there. i want to go to st. croix. resident chuck brit the owner of a cafe in saint kroix and rode out the storm in a friend's basement. thank you for being with us.
i want to get your first reaction to this newly announced curfew. 24-hour curfew. how do you as a business owner survive that? >> good morning, ana. the first i have heard of it because we have such limited communications right now. we are depending on texts and phone calls from people because at&t is the only network that's working right now. no internet. and everyone is trying to use the data. we can't access anything. so i have not even heard of this because no one has texted it to me yet. >> wow. >> so it's -- it's difficult for us, but, you know, i just spent the last few hours i walked to my house which is about a mile and a half from frederick, and there are people on the street going to check on their families and everyone is -- it's a community. guys out with chainsaws and machetes trying to clear the roads where we can walk in safety. there is not a single power pole standing right now.
they're leaning or on the ground or snapped. >> wow. >> do you have power? >> we have zero power on this island. >> zero. >> i am at the pier which is my restaurant, the generator on, making sandwiches for the firemen who are putting a fire out at the lottery building a couple doors down and we're going to make other sandwiches to distribute to some of the workers around before we go back up because our food -- we've got to turn the generator off and everything is going to go bad anyway at this point. >> neighbors helping neighbors always the good silver lining of situations like this. it has to be scary and got to be a little bit of panic i would think among people on the island when you have limited communications, no power, do you have running water? >> we have no running water in the towns which uses city water. most of the houses use sist weres water collected from rain water so those houses are good until they run out of that water because all of our gutters have been ripped off of our houses.
we can't collect anymore rain water. the needs for our island right now is like puerto rico, we need batteries, we need flashlights, generators and we need water. because as i had stated when i was on the air yesterday, is we have sent all of our supplies to st. thomas and st. john because we were the hub for all rescue activity and all product going to them. so we -- the storm came so quick, that we did not have time to resupply. >> we heard from the spokesman of the governor in puerto rico that fema is on the ground, that they feel like this administration has been very responsive to the needs of puerto rico. do you have any sign of help there on the ground in st. croix? >> well, being in fredericksted, hit worse, the roads are so blocked, that very limited vehicles are able to come in. i've seen a few humvees. the fire truck, which is in fredericksted was able to make it to the fire. seen a couple police cars. but no clearing of roads.
it's really, the community is the one who is doing this. as i was walking to my house, i ran into some guys who work at a gravel pit at the end of the road and they had taken their heavy equipment and they were starting to clear the roads coming back to fredericksted as far as they can. now the power poles are blocking that access. what we need is power poles to be cut and moved to the side so they can clear these roads and we can go on with our activities. st. croix is -- we know about this type of devastation. it happened to us in the late '80s with hugo. there was no power here six months to a year. good thing is, when st. croix rebuilt in hugo, a lot of the structures were built better, a lot of roofs that should have gone, did not go because they had been rebuilt or put back on after hugo. so, you know, the devastation of roofs is not as bad as we are seeing in some other places just
because of what happened before. >> well, it sounds like it could have been worse, but it's still not good nonetheless. >> yeah. >> we really, really appreciate your time. best of luck to you and to you and your neighbors and friends and family. thank you so much for joining us. >> all right. thank you so much. >> coming up for us, the desperate search for survivors after a monster earthquake rocked one of the biggest cities on the map net. right now crews in mexico city are still trying to reach a 12-year-old girl, a survivor, still trapped inside the wreckage of a collapsed school. we'll take you there live. major development in the kaes lating feud between the u.s. and north korea. president trump says he will announce new actions against kim jong-un's regime today and it could come any moment because just minutes from now, president trump is scheduled to meet with the leader of south korea. we will bring that to you as soon as it happens. stay with us. how do you chase what you love
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of hope that a 12-year-old girl trapped in the rubble of her school since tuesday will be saved. rescuers have been working nonstop. this is a delicate and desperate race against the clock. a short time ago crews recovered the body of a school employee raising the death toll to 26 in the one school. everyone hopes this girl will not be be number 27. i want to go to cnn's rosa flores in mexico city. this time yesterday we were first hearing those reports that rescuers were trying to reach this girl but now another 24 hours have gone by. what's the latest? >> you know, these rescue workers are still here. i talked to a woman who worked for 36 hours straight and he says it's been an emotional roller coaster because as soon as they find signs of life, then the mood is up, they are joyful, they are re-energized.
then they hear that, like you mentioned, the 68-year-old woman who was recovered from the rubble, and then the mood plummets because they're working so hard and they're working for life. i want you to take a look at what's happening behind me right now because these rescue workers and these volunteers have been out yhere for hours unloading metal beams which is a new development here because we've seen them use wood to hold up the school, to try to create tums through the crevices and the cracks of this building after it collapsed and now they're also trying to use metal beams. so that's a development that we've seen just in the past 30 minutes. and the other thing that we've also seen multiple times is these rescue workers raising their hands, ana, and creating a fist, and that is a good sign
because rescue workers tell us that means that there is some sign of life. they're asking for silence. everybody is quiet. you can hear a pin drop here when that happens. we've seen it multiple times this morning and that, of course, hope for those parents that have this agonizing wait, who are waiting to hear if their children are safe. >> i cannot imagine. rosa flores we'll continue to watch your live shot and keep us posted. thank you so much. if you would like to help the victims of the earthquake in mexico or the people in the caribbean and in the u.s. that are affected by these recent hurricanes, many of us feel helpless, there is a way to make an impact. cnn.com/impact where you can find out how you can make a difference. coming up for us any moment now, president trump will meet with the leader of south korea after promising new actions against north korea. we will bring that to you just as soon as it happens. stay with us.
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korea if the u.s. is forced to defend south korea and other allies. a short time ago, president trump said new sanctions are in the works. want to talk more about this with cnn global affairs correspondent elise labott and white house correspondent jeff zeleny at trump tower. i want to start with you, what is the white house saying about this meeting that could happen at any moment? >> well, ana, we are going to expect to hear from president trump, some more details about new sanctions that he wants to impose on north korea. of course this is coming just a couple days after that fiery speech where he left, you know -- made clear his point to the u.n. that the u.s. would totally destroy in his words north korea. but still diplomacy is a preferred route here. he is going to in this hour talk about sanctions. we are told the sanctions are not going to be specifically related to the oil program, but will be business related. we'll get more details on that. but this is just the latest in a
situation here of the president grappling with how to deal with the rising nuclear threat here. it's key, of course, he is having a meeting right now with the president of south korea, and then a working lunch with the president of south korea as well as the japanese prime minister. clearly two partners in this. important to point out china not here at the u.n., not in new york. china will have to be part of any successful north korean sanctions effort. ana? >> and elise, we know that south korea and its new president and president trump haven't always seen eye to eye in how to deal with north korea, but south korea is a key ally and, of course, north korea is such a pressing issue right now, not just for the u.s. and the region but for the global community. what's at stake in this meeting? >> i think it's a very important meeting. the relationship is very strained between these two leaders and the south korean president just came in with a much more kind of conciliatory stance towards north korea, as
opposed to president trump who wants to take much more of a hard line. the relationship strained because of issues of trade. >> hold on. let's listen in. >> we've had a few discussions over the last number of months and i think we're making a lot of headway in a lot of different ways. we are on a very friendly basis working on trade and working on trade agreements and we'll see how that all comes out. but much more importantly, frankly, than trade, is the other aspect of our relationship that we're working with and that has to do with north korea. so we are meeting on a constant basis. we'll be meeting in a little while also with prime minister abe of japan and that will be a tri meeting. we're making a lot of progress in a lot of different ways. stay tuned. stay tuned. would you like to say something?
[ speaking foreign language ] >> mr. president, many telephone conversations with you and because of this i am becoming more and more familiar and seem with you. over the years -- over north korea have continued to make provocations and this is deplorable and this has angered me and our people. the united states has responded firmly and in a very good way
and the president and i have close coordination between the united states and because of this i am very satisfied. mr. president, in the u.n. general assembly you made a very strong speech and i believe that the strength of your speech will also help contain north korea. thank you very much. >> well, thank you very much. i'm happy you used the word deplorable. i was very interested in that word. i didn't tell them -- i promise, i did not tell them to use that word. [ speaking foreign language ] >> very lucky word for me and many millions of people. [ speaking foreign language ] >> so because of the fact that our trade deal is so bad for the united states and so good for south korea, we're focused on the military, but actually we're going to try to straight ounce
the -- straighten out the trade deal and make it fair for everybody. oth our focus will be on the military and relationship with south korea, which is excellent, really excellent, so we're going to start that process right now. thank you very much. thank you, everyone. >> thanks, everybody. >> so we were listening in, live remarks from the president of south korea meeting alongside the president of the united states, donald trump, of course, on the sidelines of a united nations general assembly. we heard him talk both about trade as well as the military situation and the ballistic missiles and nuclear development that's happening in north korea, one of the key topics, of course, of conversation as they now move from this little spray they were doing, a pool spray, moving into a working lunch not just with the president of the u.s. and the president of south korea but also the leader of japan who is another important ally in that region. i want to bring back our jeff zeleny and elise labott. when you listened in, i know the
word trade stood out to you. >> that's right. because we much, as we went into the press conference, we were talking about the fact that this relationship is strained, not just because of their differing approaches on north korea, but because president trump came into office saying he was going to right these bad trade deals that he thought were bad for the american people and he said it right next to the south korean president. this trade deal is so bad for america, we're going to make it fair. >> he said it's so good for south korea. >> exactly. >> look, this is a very transactional president. he wants to get something for what he's doing on north korea. so i think he's -- what he's trying to do is, you know, bring all of these issues together. his relationship on south korea, and north korea, he's saying it's going to be much better if south korea plays ball on the trade deal and i think that's very interesting. you know, this relationship with this new south korean leader who is coming in with a much more conciliatory approach towards north korea, is far different than the relationship that president trump has with president abe of japan.
very cozy together. he was one of the first leaders that he met with after his election and when he came into office. they played golf together. >> why do you think they're so cozy and not so much this other -- >> i think a lot is because president abe is a very charming man. he knows how to play what president trump likes. he's very praising of him. he also plays golf. so they've bonded on that. and i think that, you know, japan also is looking to take a much more hard line on north korea. so he's been playing to what president trump is looking for and i think these two men have formed, you know, japanese officials have told me, they feel very good about the relationship these two leaders have had and also is very much -- they're very much in line with this more hardline approach towards north korea. >> let me ask you about the other thing that actually drew some laughs in the room, the president thanked south korea's president for using the word deplorable. i mean that goes back to the campaign.
>> it certainly does, ana, that certainly drew our attention as well here. of course the word deplorable first came up in a fund-raiser that -- in the campaign last fall that hillary clinton had right here in new york city. she talked about the deplorables, talking about donald trump supporters there. you heard president trump sort of laughing about that and he said look, i did not ask him to say that word, but he said that word has been a very lucky word for me. indeed, that became a bit of an anthem for trump supporters across the country at rally, they would say i am deplorable. that was one of the low moments of the clinton campaign, seems like a long time ago, just now we're into the governing phase, but about a year or so ago right here in new york where hillary clinton said deplorables, president trump seized on it and seems happy to be hearing about it again this morning. >> when clinton talked about the basket of demorebles. jeff and elise, thank you both. more breaking news we're following at this hour. this time in the russia
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the x1 voice remote. xfinity. the future of awesome. two big developments on the russia investigation. "the washington post" is reporting that former trump campaign chairman paul manafort offered private briefings on 209s 16 election to a -- 2016 election to a russian billionaire close to the kremlin. special counsel robert mueller is now requesting white house records on some of president trump's controversial actions including the firing of former fbi director james comey. bring in cnn's crime and justice reporter. what other records do we know have been requested by mueller and his team? >> well, ana, the special counsel who has put in this request has requested documents and information from the white house covering some of the key moments and decisions made by
the president, specifically the firing of former fbi director james comey, and details surrounding the period michael flynn was national security adviser. flynn was dismissed after he had lied to the vice president about his conversations with the russian ambassador. we've learned also that mueller has asked for information about an oval office meeting the president had with russian officials where he bragged about the firing of the former fbi director, saying that it eased pressure on the white house. we're also told by sources the white house has so far. cooperating with the requests and providing the information to mueller's team, ana. >> this new report on paul manafort, what more are you learning about this offer apparently from manafort to a russian billionaire no. >> that's right. as you said it was "the washington post" they are reporting that during the campaign, manafort, who is now at the center of the special counsel investigation, offered to privately brief a russian billionaire with ties to vladimir putin on kind of the state of the campaign, where
things stood, and the offer, interestingly, came at a time in july of 2016 when cnn has reported u.s. intelligence officials became alarmed by some things that intercepted communications showed. for instance, russians talking about targeting campaign officials that could potentially be influenced. and as we reported on monday, u.s. officials have intelligence indicating manafort was encouraging russians to help the campaign. this latest information from the "washington post" comes from e-mails turned over to congressional investigators and the special counsel's office. a spokesman for manafort said the e-mails were, quote, innocuous and he was trying to collect money that was owed to him by previous clients. we should note that paul manafort denied he knowingly communicated with russian operatives. >> quickly, shimon, was there a briefing of any sort? there was the offer for the briefing. do we know what happened? >> yeah. so we don't know if these briefings actually took place. we know that there was some
e-mail exchanges between different people as "the washington post" reported, but did briefings actually take place, we don't know. >> all right. shimon, important to note, thank you so much for that reporting. joining us to discuss, a former federal prosecutor and partner at thompson coburn. thank you for being with us. let's start with that latest reporting, specifically about manafort and this message to a russian billionaire. it was an e-mail apparently but could it still be investigated as collusion if he did not actually receive or respond to that message? >> well, it doesn't matter whether or not you received a response. what it does, is it shows his intent and i certainly think it would cause mueller to investigate further. i think really the obvious implication that an investigator or a prosecutor would draw from that is, that he was offering some sort of special access to this russian billionaire and it makes one wonder, you know, what was he expecting to get in return for that. in other words, was he going to try to get aid for the trump
campaign or was this to get something for himself? it's, obviously, problematic. i don't think your viewers need me to explain that to them. it's something on its own, no, obviously, you know, i've never prosecuted a case with one exhibit, so you know, that e-mail wouldn't be the only piece of evidence, but there's a reason why there have been reports that robert mueller is intending to indict paul manafort and i think this is starting to give us some of the reasons as to why. >> perhaps some of the evidence they're using to build their case. again, we don't know exactly all the details. we do have some details, however, about the information and the documents mueller's team is asking for from the white house. and what we've learned, what shimon just shared with us, what stands out mosts to you? >> well, there's a number of things. i mean, one piece of it is -- and i heard him discussing that on the air just a minute ago -- is the conversation with the
russian ambassador right after that trump had right after he fired james comey, talking about the -- >> the oval office meeting? yeah. >> exactly that tells me the tact that mueller is interested in that, he is certainly investigating obstruction of justice and trying to build a case on the president's obstruction of justice and firing comey. it's unclear if there will be enough evidence, but he is investigating that. another document request is the document request regarding the statement that was issued by donald trump jr. right after the discovery of meaning of trump tower. that statement was later determined to be misleading and there were press reports the president was involved in dictating that statement through aides. the question there is who was responsible for the misleading language in the statement?
was it the president or his son? what did the president know about that meetinging and why was the president so intensely interested in crafting that statement? >> based on this new reporting, is the president not under investigation? >> if the president was my client, i would tell him he's a subject of the investigation and he should be acting accordingly. we have seen a lot less twitter activity involving the russia investigation as of late and i think that is wise and i suspect that he has been advised by his attorneys to be more careful what he says as a result. >> thank you so much for joining us. we have new developments in the health care debate. president trump is praising the health care bill, tweeting this. bill cassidy is a class act who really cares about people and their health care. he doesn't lie.
just wants to help people. this has mitch mcconnell's office said he plans to bring the bill to the floor before the september 30th deadline if they want to pass it just with republican support. republicans have at least one definitive no from rand paul. other senators may have serious concerns about it. joining us now, cnn national politics, mj, bring us up to speed. >> this is incredibly important. rand paul came out and said he's a no. lisa murcowski, susan collins and john mccain voted no last time around. you can expect winning them over will be very, very difficult. we can say we know mitch mcconnell knows he does not have the yes votes right now. if he did, he would be announcing that there would be a vote next week. he has not done that.
he only said his intention is to bring this up on the floor next week. he is not going to do that probably unless the votes are there. he doesn't want a situation where the vote fails. >> the additional drama with this feud that has sort of opened up between bill cassidy, one of the sponsors and jimmy kimmel. let's listen to the latest exchange. jimmy kimmel went after him on his show a couple of nights ago and cassidy responded and kimmel went out again, responding to him. this is the latest back and forth. >> i'm sorry he does not understand. under graham cassidy, more people would have coverage. we protect those with preexisting conditions. >> i don't understand because i'm a talk show host. i don't understand the part where you cut $243 billion from federal health care assistance or the part where states would be allowed to let insurance
companies price you out of coverage for having preexisting conditions some. >> the repeated back and forth between them created more confusion. who is right and what exactly will happen to people with preexisting conditions under graham cassidy. under graham cassidy, it's true the state cannot outright reject smeone for having preexisting conditions. this is in place under obamacare. what they can do is ask for more flexibility so insurance companies could charge people higher premiums based on their medical conditions. how republicans defend this bill is these states have to provide assurances that everyone will get affordable and adequate coverage, but the problem is adequate and affordable coverage leaves a lot of room for interpretation. jimmy kimmel's point is that his son will be fine in terms of getting the care he needs
because he himself is very, very fortunate. his family is fortunate. he saw so many people at the hospital, families who could not pay for these skyrocketing medical bills. i think that's the point he has really drawn attention to. i was doing reporting with my colleagues yesterday on what would happen to a child like billy kimmel under the graham cassidy bill. one at children's hospital said the open heart surgeries and other procedure that is a child would need would rack up the bills and easily hit the million dollar mark which is incredible. >> we are out of time, but that's another point of contention. the insurance companies have a lifetime limit of coverage. they are allowed to limit the amount they are paying out, leaving people hanging out to dry down the road. a live look and i top the show you in mexico city there is still this ongoing desperate
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